LeeTran announces March launch of on-demand service in Lehigh Acres

Reporter: Annalise Iraola Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

LeeTran is set to expand its mobility-on-demand pilot program to the Lehigh Acres area.

According to a press release, the ULTRA On-Demand Transit service will feature a multi-person vehicle that will take patrons anywhere within the defined service area:

  • The northern border will be West 12th Street between Sunshine Boulevard and Wellington Avenue South
  • The western border will run southeasterly from Sunshine Boulevard toward Beth Stacey Boulevard and Homestead Road
  • The eastern border will run southwesterly from Wellington Avenue South toward Joponica Avenue South
  • The southern border will be Jaguar Boulevard between Aletha Avenue South and Joponica Avenue South

Scheduled to launch on March 2, the on-demand service will be available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Passengers can use the Uber app or make ride requests via the telephone at (239) 533-8726. Rides will cost $1.50 during the pilot phase.

“Over the past three months in Bonita Springs, our ridership has gone up 84%. So it was only wise for us to take it to the next phase in the Lehigh Acres,” said Lee County Transit Director Robert Codie.

LeeTran rolled out its first-ever mobility-on-demand initiative in 2022 in the Bonita Springs area. Following the successful launch of the ULTRA program, LeeTran began the planning process of expanding the program to Lehigh Acres thanks to a grant awarded by the Florida Department of Transportation.

“I think it would be really cool to have a bus come directly to your house instead of people walking in the street because I feel like that’s really dangerous,” said Mia Garcia, of Lehigh Acres.

The mobility-on-demand ridesharing model has gained popularity in recent years with well-known brands like Uber. The concept has expanded to allow public transit agencies to offer more personalized service.

“I think especially older folks like I am. I’m 80, and the day will come when I can’t drive a car anymore. But I still have to go somewhere shopping. And so I think public transportation would be wonderful,” said Dietlind Schlei, of Lehigh Acres.

The new fleet of vehicles is smaller and more assessable for neighborhoods and narrow roads.

“Now we’re going to their door, so it not only helps the individual helps our economy as a whole. So now, people not only have access to transportation, they have access to employment, they have access to resources to better benefit not only their household but our community as a whole,” said Codie.

ULTRA on-demand service will not replace the ADA Passport service or fixed route service in the Lehigh Acres area initially. The ULTRA on-demand service supports LeeTran’s fixed-route services by allowing passengers to travel to destinations within the mobility-on-demand service area or to stops along Route 515/110 to reach destinations outside of the service area.

This new Lehigh service will be available to anyone within the designated service zone and on a first-come, first-serve basis. The new service will be powered by Uber technology, made possible through a partnership with Uber.

Vehicles are equipped with real-time tracking software that will allow passengers to schedule rides at their convenience through the uber app.

Additional information about the service is available on the Lee County website.

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